Classroom Transformation Themes for Kindergarten

The Complete Guide to Kindergarten Phonics Classroom Transformations

If you’re seeking advice and inspiration for incorporating classroom transformations centered around kindergarten phonics skills, your search ends here! This comprehensive guide to integrating kindergarten phonics into your classroom through step-by-step transformations will help you craft captivating and unforgettable literacy experiences, bridging the gap between grade K phonics and the real world for your students.

(This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing through this link, we get a small commission–at no additional cost to you. Rest assured – we only share links to products that we use and love!)

the complete guide to kindergarten phonics classroom transformations

What Are Classroom Transformations?

Does the thought of using classroom transformations with your kindergarteners completely overwhelm you? It shouldn’t!

A classroom transformation might sound complicated and time-consuming, but it is simply a temporary change in room decor and learning activities. These decorations and activities are designed to revolve around a certain theme or setting.

circus classroom transformation with kids working

Kindergarten phonics classroom transformations provide students with the opportunity to apply rigorous content standards to real-world situations in an engaging way.

How Do Classroom Transformations Work in Kindergarten?

Some preschool or kindergarten teachers might be hesitant to use classroom transformations with their young students, thinking that it might result in a chaotic classroom environment that is not conducive to learning. However, students benefit from the engaging, hands-on learning activities AND they are easily aligned to grade-level content standards.

Do you need to see it to believe it? I’ll walk you through a typical classroom transformation for kindergarten:

Step One: Planning & Preparation

It might surprise you to hear that the most important preparations for a classroom transformation are NOT the classroom decorations. The first, and most necessary, preparations to make for a classroom transformation are actually to consider the following:

Theme and Activities – What is your theme and what activities will your students be completing? FYI: Later in this guide I’ll be sharing 40 classroom transformation ideas with activities that align with kindergarten phonics standards.

Time Frame – Once you have chosen the theme and learning activities, you will want to set the time frame so that you can ensure the students have enough time to accomplish the learning tasks. Will this be an all-afternoon activity? Will they have one hour?

Method of Completion – Finally, take time to consider how your preschool or kindergarten students will complete the activities. Will they work individually? With partners? In table groups? Have this plan in place before starting so that the expectations are clear from the beginning.

Classroom transformations don’t have to be stressful if you’re prepared ahead of time. When it’s time to prepare your classroom for a transformation, give yourself a reasonably short period of time to get the room ready and stick to it! What you accomplish in that allotted time is enough. There is no need to spend hours outside of school hours to set up something that your class is going to enjoy for such a short period of time.

FYI: The themes that you will find later in this guide have everything you need to quickly set up kindergarten phonics classroom transformations!

Step Two: Activity Introduction

Your students will be very excited when they first see the classroom. Before getting started, you will want to sit down with the class and explain the learning activities. Young kindergarten students benefit greatly from visual cues and examples, so be sure to physically demonstrate to the students what they will be doing.

You will also want to discuss the expectations for how they should act and what will happen if they behave otherwise. This communicates to the students that just because the room has changed, your expectations of them have NOT changed.

Step Three: Activity Completion

Complete the kindergarten phonics learning activities that you had prepared in step one. If you use one of my themes shared below, the activities are set up as stations that the students can visit. It is a good idea to have the kindergarten students check in with you after each task to make sure they are staying on track and accomplishing the objectives.

outer space classroom transformation

Once students complete all of the challenges and mark them off on their individual recording sheets, they win!

Flexible learning activities such as this often means that some students will finish early. This is a great opportunity for students to learn more about the theme of the day!

Step Four: Clean Up

Next to preparation time, clean-up time is another major concern for teachers who are considering kindergarten phonics classroom transformations. When looking at pictures of transformed classrooms, it might look like they take a long time to clean up.

That’s not the case!

Remember that you are surrounded by over twenty helpers! Take the last few minutes of the day to clean up as a class. Review with the children what needs to be thrown away, what needs to be brought back to the teacher for reuse, and what needs to be put back in its regular place. Then let them get to work!

I think you’ll be surprised by how willing the students are to help AND how quickly the classroom transformation is cleaned up.

Kindergarten Phonics Classroom Transformation Ideas

Are you ready to try kindergarten phonics classroom transformations in your kindergarten class, but you’re feeling stuck when it comes to finding a theme with activities that align with Common Core standards? Or maybe you feel like classroom transformations are just too much work?

It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to make a classroom transformation SO MUCH FUN for your preschoolers or kindergartners! To make it easy for you to find a kindergarten phonics classroom transformation that works for your class, I have divided 23 transformation theme ideas into the different content areas (use the links below to jump to your desired section, or just scroll through them all):

Beginning of the Year Classroom Transformations

Middle of the Year Classroom Transformations

Spring Classroom Transformations

End of Year Classroom Transformations

Jump to Frequently Asked Questions

Beginning of the Year Classroom Transformations

zoo instructions on smart tv

Zoo Day

Students become zookeepers for the day! Kindergartners will take care of zoo animals in this activity as they practice with the first half of the alphabet.

Click here for more information about the zoo kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Safari Day

Students will embark on an African Safari in this fun classroom transformation! Students will practice with the second half of the alphabet.

Click here for more information about the safari kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Boot Camp Day

Hup-2-3-4! Students become recruits in this activity as they practice with letters from A-Z.

Click here for more information about the boot camp kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Farmer Day

It’s time to get to work on the farmStudents become farmers in this real-world activity as they practice with beginning sight words.

Click here for more information about the farm kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Firefighter Day

Welcome to firefighter trainingStudents become firefighters as they practice with syllables.

Click here for more information about the firefighter kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

donut shop room transformation

Donut Shop Day

You donut have to stress with this fun transformation! Students become donut shop owners as they practice with beginning sounds.

Click here for more information about the donut kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Circus Day

This activity will make your students feel like they’ve been transported to a true circusStudents become performers in this activity and get to practice with medial sounds.

Click here for more information about the circus kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

pilot classroom transformation setup

Pilot Day

Get ready for takeoff! Students become pilots in this real-world activity and get to practice with ending sounds.

Click here for more information about the pilot day kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

fall classroom transformation instructions on TV

Fall Themed Day

Fall is in the air during this classroom transformation! In this engaging activity, students become squirrels and will practice with multiple phonics skills.

Click here for more information about the fall kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

halloween classroom transformation

Halloween Haunted House Day

This activity will welcome your students into a haunted house filled with 10 spooky characters in this fun kindergarten classroom transformation! As they become guests at a Halloween party they will practice with multiple phonics skills.

Click here for more information about the Halloween kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Middle of the Year Classroom Transformations

Veterinarian Day

Your students will need to put on their scrub caps as they become veterinarians in a pet hospital! As students help sick animals, they will practice with CVC short A words.

Click here for more information about the veterinarian kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Race Car Day

It’s time to hit the race track! Students become race car drivers in this real-world activity as they practice with CVC short E words.

Click here for more information about the race car kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

artist day classroom transformation aprons on desks

Artist Day

Grab your apron! Students will become artists in this engaging activity as they practice with CVC short I words.

Click here for more information about the artist kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Doctor Day

Your kindergarteners should grab their stethoscopes because it’s time for reading surgery! Students become doctors in this engaging activity as they practice CVC short O words.

Click here for more information about the doctor kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

classroom transformation coffee shop day

Coffee Shop Day

Students become coffee shop owners in this fun and engaging activity that will help them practice with CVC short U words.

Click here for more information about the coffee shop kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Detective Day

Do you have your magnifying glass ready? In this transformation, students become detectives and will review CVC words.

Click here for more information about the detective kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Party Planner Day

Your students will plan the ultimate party and make sure it’s perfect! Students become party planners in this real-world activity and will practice with rhyming words.

Click here for more information about the party kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

realtor classroom transformation set up

Realtor Day

The whole neighborhood is for sale! Students become real estate agents in this real-world activity and get to practice with L Blends.

Click here for more information about the realtor kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Outer Space Day

This classroom transformation is out of this world! Students become astronauts as they practice with S Blends.

Click here for more information about the space kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Grocery Store Day

Are you ready to go grocery shopping?! Students become shoppers in this real-world activity as they practice with R Blends.

Click here for more information about the grocery store kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Spring Classroom Transformations

Scientist Day

Put on your safety goggles because it’s time for some experiments! Kindergarteners become scientists in this real-world activity and will practice final blends (M, N, L, S, T).

Click here for more information about the scientist kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Candy Shop Day

Get ready to eat some candy because it’s time to hit the candy shop! Students become candy shop owners in this engaging transformation and get to review beginning and ending blends.

Click here for more information about the candy shop kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Chef Day

Heat up the oven because it’s time to hit the kitchen! Students become chefs in this restaurant-themed transformation that helps them practice with beginning digraphs (wh-, ch-, sh-).

Click here for more information about the chef kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Under the Sea Day

Grab your scuba gear because it’s time to go under the sea! Students become scuba divers in this real-world activity and will practice with ending digraphs (-sh, -ch-, -ck).

Click here for more information about the under the sea kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

weather day instructions on TV

Weather Day

Your students will have the chance to put on their raincoats and become meteorologists!  Students will practice with digraph th as they become newscasters for this activity.

Click here for more information about the weather kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Pirate Day

Arggggh! Ahoy, mates! Students become pirates in this activity that allows them to practice with digraphs (beginning and ending – SH, CH, WH, CK, TH).

Click here for more information about the pirate kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

classroom set up for royal day

Royalty Day

Kindergarteners become royal palace members in this fun transformation! In this activity, students will practice with glued sounds (-an, -am, -ing, -unk, -ink).

Click here for more information about the royalty day kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

magician coloring page

Magician Day

Students become magicians in this fun and engaging activity where they can practice with CVCe words.

Click here for more information about the magician kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

bowling day instructions on tv

Bowling Day

Put on your bowling shoes because it’s time to hit the bowling alley! Students become bowlers for this classroom transformation and will practice with short and long vowels (CVC and CVCe words).

Click here for more information about the bowling kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Construction Day

Your students will put on their hard hats and get to work in this classroom transformation!  Students become construction workers and practice with phoneme manipulation (add a letter, remove a letter, change a letter).

Click here for more information about the construction kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

End of Year Classroom Transformations

sports coloring page

Sports Day

This is the perfect classroom transformation for your students who love sports! Students become athletes and will practice with grammar skills.

Click here for more information about the sports day kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Thanksgiving Parade

Get ready for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Rigorous kindergarten Thanksgiving reading activities like this are sure to keep everyone engaged during the holidays. This transformation is filled with multiple phonics skills.

Click here for more information about the Thanksgiving kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Santa’s Workshop

It’s time to help Santa prepare for Christmas Eve in this fun Christmas classroom transformation! Students become elves and will practice with multiple phonics skills.

Click here for more information about the Christmas kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

St. Patrick’s Day

This St. Patrick’s Day reading activity is a leprechaun family reunion! Your students will meet all of their “relatives” as they practice with multiple phonics skills.

Click here for more information about the St. Patrick’s Day kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Camping Day

It’s time to grab a sleeping bag and go camping! Students become campers in this transformation and will practice with phonics skills with decodable reading passages.

Click here for more information about the camping kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Ice Cream Day

Get ready to scoop some ice cream! Students become ice cream shop owners and will practice with CVC words in decodable passages.

Click here for more information about the ice cream shop kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

rock star coloring page

Rock Star Day

Get ready to ROCK! Students will become rock stars as they practice with multiple phonics skills. This is a great classroom transformation for year-end review!

Click here for more information about the rock star kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Hawaiian Vacation

Grab your suitcase for summer vacation! Students become vacationers and “go to Hawaii” as they practice with multiple phonics skills. This is a perfect year-end review!

Click here for more information about the Hawaii kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

dinosaur classroom transformation with few decorations

Dinosaur Day

Beware of dinosaurs!! Students become paleontologists for a day as they collect fossils and practice with multiple phonics skills.

Click here for more information about the dinosaur kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

The Floor is Lava

Oh no!! The floor is lava! SERIOUSLY! Students will become explorers and pretend that the floor is lava! They cannot touch the floor as they practice with multiple phonics skills.

Click here for more information about the floor is lava kindergarten phonics classroom transformation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Can/Should I Do Classroom Transformations?

The frequency of kindergarten phonics classroom transformations is completely up to you! Since I use the ready-made classroom transformation themes listed above, I am able to easily do one classroom transformation each week! I call my transformation days Monday Funday because it gives my students and I something to look forward to when we’re coming back to school after the weekend. If the idea of a WEEKLY classroom transformation seems unrealistic, you’ll definitely want to check out this post, where I show you how I’m able to do it!

Are Classroom Transformations Expensive?

Kindergarten phonics classroom transformations don’t have to be expensive! There are many ways to reduce the out-of-pocket cost for classroom transformations, including reusing certain items. I have an entire blog post devoted to cost-saving tips for classroom transformations!

Can Kindergarteners Do Classroom Transformation Activities Independently?

Any new learning activity requires scaffolding and support as the children learn how to work independently. Kindergarten phonics classroom transformations are no different. If your students are able to complete center activities independently, they should have no problem completing classroom transformation activity rotations. However, they can easily be adapted for partners and small groups.

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Additional Resources for Kindergarten Phonics Room Transformations

Are you ready to get started with kindergarten phonics classroom transformations? I’m here to help! Be sure to check out my additional posts with classroom transformation tips and follow me on Instagram where I share even more resources and tips for teachers.

I know that you and your students will love learning through the engaging activities of classroom transformations!

Want to add some fun decorations to your next room transformation? I’ve got you covered right here with my Classroom Transformation Decoration Lists!

Looking to try out a room transformation but not sure where to start? Come join us in the Classroom Transformations with the Lifetime Learner Facebook Group to grab a free video game-themed room transformation for K-5!

The Best Room Transformations for Kindergarten Students

classroom transformation themes for kindergarten

These are the top 10 best kindergarten room transformations. They are easy to implement, rigorous, and fun for kindergartners! All kindergarten room transformations focus on a different skill set so you can use one each week or at the end of each unit. The best part about my room transformations is that they’re 100% editable! If you haven’t taught a specific skill yet, or need to modify the content to meet your students’ needs, you can change any of the questions. All kindergarten room transformations are challenging, aligned to standards, and engaging for students. They are also easy to set up and simple to use. Check out the 10 most popular kindergarten room transformations below.

(This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing through this link, we get a small commission–at no additional cost to you. Rest assured – we only share links to products that we use and love!)

Donut Shop Classroom Transformation

kindergarten room transformations example of donut shop day

If you’re looking for a scrumptious day in the classroom, the Donut Shop Classroom Transformation is for you! In this transformation, kindergarteners will complete 10 donut-themed math worksheets around the classroom, wear donut decor such as bakery hats, and end the day with a real donut for a prize.

For kindergarteners, there are 3 different versions of challenges provided for you to easily differentiate learners. All challenges are editable if you ever want to personalize a part of the transformation to better fit the needs of your classroom.

  • Version #1: Decompose the Donuts with Pictures into Addition Sentences
  • In Version #2: Decompose the Donuts Using Part/Part Whole Stratgy
  • Version #3: Decompose the Donuts Using Ten Frames
donut shop recording sheet with donuts next to it

As kindergarteners solve the challenges, they keep track of their progress using an included recording sheet. Each time they correctly finish a challenge, you sign their recording sheet so they can move on to the next task. This allows kids to remember which challenges they’ve already finished or when they need to go back and try again.

Candy Shop Classroom Transformation

kindergarten room transformations example of candy shop day

In the Candy Shop Classroom Transformation, kindergarteners practice counting objects by using real candy! The room is decorated with candy decorations such as banners, door signs, and colorful pictures to make it feel like a real candy shop. Throughout the day, students solve 10 candy-themed math worksheets that practice counting objects in a scattered group and telling if one group has more or less, all the while experiencing a sweet day in the classroom.

During the room transformation, kindergartners are able to use actual candy to practice counting. Using real manipulatives helps students better understand the concept, and getting to eat the candy afterward is a strong motivator to finish.

candy shop classroom transformation

Zoo Classroom Transformation

kindergarten room transformations example of zoo day

In the Zoo Classroom Transformation, kindergarteners enter a classroom with fun decorations, animal masks, and custom banners. Kindergarteners practice comparing numbers 1-10 by solving zoo-themed task cards laid out around the room.

This classroom transformation is completed like a scavenger hunt. Kindergarteners search around the room to find all the “missing zoo animals” by solving task cards and recording the answers on their recording sheets. At the end of this transformation, students receive a zoo animal eraser as a prize for completing all the challenges.

zoo animal erasers

Space Day Classroom Transformation

kindergarten room transformations example of space day

In the Space Classroom Transformation, kindergarteners travel out of this world when you decorate the classroom with provided space banners and fun signs. Throughout the day, students will solve 10 space-themed math challenges around the room that are designed to help build their problem-solving skills with both real-world and out-of-this-world math.

This transformation provides you with four versions of worksheets that are easy for you to differentiate with students. Kindergartners practice counting forward from a given number. The four versions are numbers 1-25, 1-50, 1-75, and 1-100.

kid putting a sticker on a space recording sheet

Rock Star Classroom Transformation

kindergarten room transformations example of rock star day

Everyone can become a star when you complete the Rock Star Classroom Transformation! Kindergarteners spend the day surrounded by rock star posters and banners while wearing fun hats to immerse them into the VIP experience. Included math challenges in this transformation are all rock-star-themed and practice skills such as:

  • count within 100 starting at any given number
  • add and subtract within 10
  • write descriptive words to describe objects like longer or shorter
  • compose simple shapes to make larger shapes
  • counting how many
  • subtraction with 5
  • making ten with ten frames
  • comparing numbers with greater than, less than, or equal to within ten
  • counting within 20 with ten frames
  • decide if shapes are 2D or 3D

Once your kindergarteners have completed all the challenges assigned to them, provide them with a certificate of completion. This is a great reminder of the fun day they had at school and also a great talking point with parents.

sports day certificate

Farmer Classroom Transformation

kindergarten room transformations example of farm day

Bring the farm right to your classroom in the Farmer Classroom Transformation! In this transformation, kindergarteners will enter your newly-decorated classroom with farm posters, tablecloths, and other farm decorations. They will then solve 10 farmer-themed math challenges placed around the room. There are 2 versions of the challenges included: counting 1-10 and counting 1-20.

Challenges also practice a variety of other farm-themed math skills:

  • understand the relationship between numbers and quantities
  • connect counting to cardinality
  • count quantities in a picture and write the number counted
  • numbers 1-10 and numbers 1-20
farm classroom transformation set up

At the end of the Farmer Classroom Transformation, it’s a great idea to give out a small prize in reward for your students’ effort. A cute farm eraser or a homework pass can be great motivation for your kindergarteners to finish the transformation.

Sports Day Classroom Transformation

kindergarten room transformations example of sports day

In the Sports Day Classroom transformation, kindergarteners experience a variety of sports from basketball to hockey. Sports banners and posters are provided for you to hang up around the classroom, as well as 10 sports-themed math challenges. Kids who are both athletic and not are sure to have a blast during this transformation.

Sports challenges practice the following skills for your kindergarteners:

  • find number pairs that make ten
  • make 10 with ten frames
  • figure out the missing number in a number sentence to make ten
  • error analysis-decide if a number added will make ten or not
sports day prizes

At the end of the Sports Day Classroom Transformation, I like to hand out a reward at the end. There are tons of sports-themed prizes out there to choose from, from soccer erasers to miniature medals. A little trinket can be a great motivator to encourage your students to reach the end of the transformation.

Bowling Classroom Transformation

kindergarten room transformations example of bowling day

Strike, spare, or single, the Bowling Classroom Transformation is a sure hit in your classroom! Kindergarteners will experience bowling fun during this transformation when you transform your classroom into a bowling alley. Bowling posters and decorations are provided for you to hang around the classroom, and all of the math challenges are bowling-themed.

The Bowling Classroom Transformation practices the following math skills:

  • represent addition and subtraction in a variety of ways
  • solve addition and subtraction word problems within 10
  • decompose numbers less than 10 into pairs
  • making ten
  • Fluently add and subtract within 5.
  • compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 (teen numbers)
bowling card

As a fun optional activity, you can bring real-life bowling to this classroom transformation. In past years, I’ve used a plastic bowling set in this transformation and allowed my students to bowl each time they completed one of the math challenges. They can keep track of their scores with the provided recording sheet. This extra step in the transformation always encourages students to finish the challenges.

Halloween Classroom Transformation

kindergarten room transformations halloween haunted house

One of my favorite kindergarten room transformations is the Haunted House Day! Looking for a fun, but still educational way to celebrate Halloween in your classroom? Look no further! The Halloween Classroom Transformation turns your classroom into a haunted house for the day, where your kindergarteners solve 10 Halloween-themed math challenges. There are spooky posters and fun extra activities all included for you in this transformation.

Kindergartners are able to practice a variety of skills in the Haunted House:

  • identify 2D and 3D shapes (flat and solid)
  • practice geometry by identifying shapes with 4 sides or shapes without 4 sides
  • use positional words such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to
  • count how many
  • count objects in a scattered array
  • use part-part whole to solve addition and subtraction equations
  • compose and decompose numbers within ten
  • making ten
  • count within 50
  • count forward starting at a given number within 50
halloween trick or treat bags

For a special activity once your transformation is completed, try out the Trick-or-Treat game with your kindergarteners! Cut out a bunch of the provided cards labeled “trick” and “treat” and mix them in a bowl together. Have your students reach inside and pull out one of the cards. If they pull out a “treat,” they earn a piece of Halloween candy or similar. If they pull out a “trick,” have them reach in one of the “trick bags” you’ve created (trick bag labels are provided, as well as a list of ideas for the bag). These can be easily made by filling up paper bags with different-textured items (such as carrots, tissue paper, etc.) and labeling them with Halloween-themed descriptors. Carrots become “mummy toes” and fishing line becomes “spider web.” Kids love getting to experience a gross, hands-on activity, and it is perfect for Halloween.

Coffee Shop Classroom Transformation

kindergarten room transformations example of coffee shop day

Transform your classroom into a coffee shop for the day in the Coffee Shop Classroom Transformation. Use coffee shop posters, decorative coffee cups, and cute aprons to allow your kindergarteners to feel like they are real baristas in a coffee shop as they solve 10 math challenges. This transformation practices adding and subtracting within 5.

Furthermore, kindergarteners will practice coffee-themed math skills:

  • add within 5
  • subtract within 5
  • work on fact fluency

At the end of this classroom transformation, reward your kindergarteners with a special treat. Instead of coffee, use hot chocolate as a prize once your students finish all the math challenges. Students can bring you the coffee cup set out on their desk to fill up. This is a fun extra step to your transformation that really motivates your students to finish the challenges while simultaneously reinforcing the coffee shop theme.

hot chocolate in crockpot

In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed reading about these kindergarten room transformations and are excited if you are now considering trying one out! Furthermore, no matter which theme you choose to start with, your kindergarteners are guaranteed to love it.

Are you new to this idea and ready to try a classroom transformation? I’m here to help! Be sure to check out my additional posts with classroom transformation tips and follow me on Instagram where I share even more resources and tips for teachers.

Want to add some fun decorations to your next room transformation? I’ve got you covered right here with my Classroom Transformation Decoration Lists!

Looking to try out a room transformation but not sure where to start? Come join us in the Classroom Transformations with the Lifetime Learner Facebook Group to grab a free video game-themed room transformation for K-5!

Looking for room transformations that are already made for you?